Borders goes it alone on the web

Borders Group has announced plans to end its relationship with Amazon and reopen its own e-commerce website early next year.

The move follows a similar decision by rival bookseller Waterstone's in 2006, and came as Borders posted losses of $73.6m (£37.5m) for the fourth quarter of last year.


BT launches MySpace for SMEs

BT has launched an online service that helps small businesses use social media tools like blogs and podcasts in their company marketing.

BT Tradespace is pitched as taking "a giant leap forward in digital marketing", encouraging users to "join a fast-growing community of buyers and sellers in your specific business area".

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Firms could improve customer self-service

Some 57% of UK companies offer little or no web self-service for their customers, potentially resulting in loss of revenue for etailers, according to research.

eGain assessed the web self-service functions of 125 major companies in the UK across a range of sectors. Only 17% of companies were found to be offering acceptable customer service solutions.

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Podcasting audience grows by 18%

Figures from Edison Media Research suggest the audience for podcasting is on the rise, and that general awareness of the medium is growing rapidly.

The stats, which were originally presented at the Corporate Podcasting Summit in London, show that awareness of podcasting grew by 70%, while actual use increased by only 18%.


News Corp and NBC to challenge YouTube

News Corporation and NBC Universal have teamed up to create a new online video site, which will be launched this summer.

The site will show full episodes and clips from TV shows, including 24 and Saturday Night Live, all available free of charge and supported by advertising. Films will also be shown, though it's unclear whether or not these will be free to view.

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Thresher virus 2.0 unleashed

Web marketing innovator Hugh MacLeod's latest voucher virus has again become contagious amongst British wine lovers.

Last December, a voucher giving 40% off all Thresher wines for 10 days appeared on the web, driving £15m sales for the off-licence after being reproduced by bloggers and website owners and passed around in emails 800,000 times.

1 comment is biggest UK ad network now reaches 26.9m unique users - almost 90% of the UK's internet population - according to figures from comScore Media Metrix.

Its nearest rival is MediaBrokers, which reaches 22m uniques, 73.5% of the UK market. ValueClick reaches 68.4% of the UK's internet users.


VCs pile into Web 2.0 space

Levels of VC investment in 'Web 2.0' companies doubled last year, according to figures released by Ernst & Young and Dow Jones VentureOne at this week's Web Ventures Conference in California.

The firms say $844m (£431m) was invested in Web 2.0 startups in 2006, compared to $406m (£206m) in 2005.

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Lonelygirl15 strikes tasty ad deal

She's one of the hottest attractions in online video drama - now Lonelygirl15 is busy striking product placement deals with advertisers.

Started on YouTube in 2006 as a supposedly authentic bedroom video diary from 16-year-old Bree, the series now pulls in massive audiences on Revver and is aiming to cash in.


Yahoo! finds 15% of ad clicks are fake

Between 12% and 15% of clicks through Yahoo! search marketing ads are identified as erroneous and discarded from advertiser bills, the company has said.

Announcing a stepping up of its fight against click fraud, Yahoo! announced the appointment of veteran company lawyer Reggie Davis to a new vice-president of marketplace quality position.


Budget disappoints online betting firms

Hopes that yesterday’s budget would help out the online gambling sector appear to have been dashed, after the Treasury set its new tax on remote betting in line with offline bookmakers at 15%.

The move is being seen as a setback for the industry, which had hoped for a lower rate that would encourage investment back to the UK from abroad.


Yahoo! nears Google ad revenue after deductions

Yahoo! has closed the gap on Google's 2006 revenue from online advertising because it keeps a greater proportion of advertising spend, according to soon-to-be-published data.

Revealing contents of an imminent report into portal site economics, Jupiter Research analyst David Card said market share at the big four broke down as follows in 2006:-

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